Grounds for Filing Transfer Petitions and Defending Against Them

Transfer Petition in the Supreme Court: A Comprehensive Overview in Civil and Criminal

The transfer petition in the Indian legal system is a crucial mechanism that allows for the shifting of a case from one court to another, particularly when it involves substantial reasons that warrant the transfer. The provisions for filing transfer petition in Supreme court are distinct for civil and criminal matters. In civil cases, the Transfer of Property Act, 1882, contains provisions related to the transfer of suits. Section 25 of the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908, also empowers the Supreme Court to transfer cases if it considers it expedient for the ends of justice. Moreover, the High Courts possess the authority to transfer cases from one subordinate court to another within their jurisdiction.

For criminal cases, Section 406 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973, grants the power to the Supreme Court and High Courts to transfer cases, either on their own motion or on an application filed by the accused, the prosecution, or even the state government. Such transfers are usually initiated if a fair trial is at risk due to factors like undue influence, bias, or threats to the safety of the accused, victim, or witnesses. The primary reasons for seeking a transfer petition in Supreme court can include concerns about getting a fair trial, security risks, convenience, and ensuring justice without undue influence or bias. The courts, while considering these petitions, weigh various factors to ensure that the transfer serves the interests of justice and fairness.

Understanding the Legal Provisions for Transfer Petitions

Transfer petitions in Supreme Court of India are regulated by specific sections in the legal code, namely Section 25 of the Code of Civil Procedure (CPC) for civil matters and Section 406 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) for criminal matters. These sections establish the framework for transferring cases from one state to another.

Section 25 CPC, for civil matters, allows individuals to request the transfer of their case from one state’s court to another state’s court if there are strong grounds for doing so. To initiate this process, one must file a transfer petition with the Hon’ble Supreme Court, clearly stating the grounds for transfer. Similarly, in criminal matters, Section 406 CrPC provides the legal avenue for transferring cases from one state to another. This entails filing a transfer petition in Supreme court, which must outline the reasons for seeking such a transfer.

Key Considerations in Civil and Criminal Cases

Transfer petitions are not a routine practice in the Supreme Court. While they are entertained, they are typically considered in certain specific situations. Notably, matrimonial disputes, particularly those related to divorce and domestic violence, receive a more favorable treatment when it comes to transfer petition in Supreme court.

In the context of civil cases, transfer petitions are often initiated by wives who seek the transfer of their cases to their home state. The primary motive behind these petitions is to ensure convenience and reduce the effort required for traveling. The convenience factor serves as a significant ground for transfer petitions in civil cases.

The process in civil cases

  • The wife files a transfer petition in Supreme court.
  • The Supreme Court issues a notice to the husband.
  • The husband responds by filing a counter affidavit to defend against the transfer petition.
  • The case proceeds to a hearing.
  • A final judgment is delivered by the Supreme Court.


In criminal cases, transfer petitions are more common in matrimonial disputes and high-profile cases, where the safety and security of the wife are paramount considerations.

  • Ensuring the safety and security of witnesses.
  • Presenting evidence of past attacks on the wife.
  • Highlighting strong political connections within the opposing party that may threaten evidence integrity.

Grounds for Filing Transfer Petitions and Defending Against Them

In civil cases, wives often resort to supreme court transfer petitions due to the long distances involved in traveling between states. They may also file these petitions if they perceive the court’s decisions to be biased or if there is a lack of support from the local police. Additionally, when key witnesses reside in a different state, this serves as a compelling ground for transfer.

Husbands facing transfer petitions have certain avenues to defend themselves. They can offer to bear all the traveling expenses for their wives, thereby requesting the court not to transfer the case. The court may consider this request, especially if the husband has elderly parents or young children who require his care.

In criminal cases, as mentioned earlier, safety and security concerns are paramount. Wives seeking supreme court transfer petitions may provide evidence of past attacks on them or underscore the strong political connections of the opposing party that could jeopardize evidence.


The Role of Advocates in Supreme Court Transfer Petitions

In the cases of transfer petitions, the proceedings in the Supreme Court can be conducted from any bench. Typically, these hearings are concise, lasting just five minutes. Engaging an experienced advocate can be pivotal in presenting a strong case and ensuring that your rights and concerns are adequately addressed.

Advocate Aman Chawla is a notable legal professional known for expertise in handling supreme court transfer petitions. His experience and skill in navigating the nuances of transfer petitions can prove invaluable to individuals seeking to transfer their cases.


Transfer petitions in Supreme Court play a crucial role in allowing individuals to move their cases from one state to another, either in civil or criminal matters. While these petitions are not routinely entertained, specific situations, particularly in matrimonial disputes and high-profile cases, receive more favorable consideration.

Understanding the legal provisions and the grounds for filing or defending against transfer petitions is essential for individuals involved in such legal proceedings. Moreover, seeking the counsel of a seasoned advocate like Aman Chawla can significantly enhance one’s chances of success in the Supreme Court when pursuing a transfer petition. Ultimately, the ability to transfer a case can greatly impact the convenience, safety, and fairness of legal proceedings in the diverse legal landscape of India.

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